MARIA GORETTI

VJ turned celeb home chef on digital video channel, The Maria Goretti Corner

I love Christmas and simply look forward to it for the sense of warmth, cheer, love and oneness that it brings along. We celebrate Christmas for the entire month of December at home. My husband Arshad (he is the busy guy) puts the tree up and brings in the jingles, everyone places gifts for kids under the tree…I begin cooking preparations around the 19th of December and am ready with my grand annual feast by the 24th. In drinks, I simply go along with the flow and serve up personal preferences in wines and malts and more. In food, prawn curry with rice is a must on the menu. It is a traditional,lip-smacking dish that I have perfected in preparation, thanks to my mother! Then there are yummy lamb shanks, chicken sausages with mustard and chilli, honey mustard chicken, exotic pate, a few mutton preparations, east Indian in flavours, strawberry salad (which is a must), rum chocolates… I make sure that I am at home during this time of the year, every year. Close friends, Arshad’s folks, my side of the family – everyone pours in and we share moments of fun and laughter together. It is a wonderful culmination of the entire year with loved ones.

WENDELL RODRICKS

Fashion designer based in Goa

On Christmas Eve, I go for midnight mass. The mass is followed by cake and champagne. Lunch is a big affair on Christmas day with friends and family. I do two tables for the buffet. One with cakes and sweets we make at home. The other is a food table with home cooked specials, apart from the ham. I make Goan pork assado roast, BBQ seafood, including coriander garlic prawns, shellfish drizzled with pernod, lobsters and a herb salmon that we order in advance. Lettuce and pomegranate salad and a raw papaya Thai salad. No rice. No curries. I need to keep it light so everyone tastes the painstakingly-made cakes. I soak the fruits for the cakes a month in advance. The recipes are sourced from various aunts and friends. I make four types of cakes: A fruit cake, a raisin cake, a date and walnut cake and a chocolate cake. The chocolate cake has almond powder instead of flour. I learnt the recipe in Paris from my sister-in-law. I like Christmas on two levels. The spiritual level is more important than the gifting. I enjoy going for dances too. Goans really know how to party. They sing, dance, eat and are truly merry at Christmas.

Shilpi Madan for New Indian Express

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